Ciao Amore, 1134 West 18th Street, Chicago, IL, 312-432-9090
Hours: Tues-Thu 12pm-10pm; Fri 12pm-11pm; Sat 4pm-11pm; Sun 3pm-9pm
**Call for reservations for parties of 5 or more
Located in the heart of Pilsen, Ciao Amore is owned by Venezuelan chef Cesar Pineda and his partner of five years Gus Drugas. In the short two years after opening, the duo have carved out a niche that feels upscale and homemade at the same time. From the adorable plaque on the wall mentioning that everyone leaves as friends to the csompletely redone interiors by Pineda himself, this place makes the customer feel right at home.
The familia have things covered with Cesar’s grandmother influencing the cooking and his cousin owning Caro Mio in Ravenswood. Don’t stop eating or Cesar may scream, “Mangi!” at you.
Many rave about the Calamari Fritti for a starter or clients may also have the calamari in a salad. When the chef names a dish after themselves, that’s a sign to sample, and what a better match than a Caesar salad.
For a main course the Gnocchi Ripieno stuffed with asiago, pesto and ricotta was very rich and creamy. The secret is in the mushroom sauce of the Pollo Porcini and not to be missed. Finish your experience with the homemade tiramisu that is in high demand from the locals. Specials such as the green bean salad are changed every 15 days to keep customers curious. This establishment is BYOB with no corkage fee. Spotty service has been mentioned by a few but seems to be all ironed out with the current staff; ask for Danny.